September 27, 2010

by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com With UFC 119 now in the books, the man who was originally scheduled to compete in the main event is working his way back after knee surgery and readying himself for hip surgery.

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, who was set to rematch Frank Mir on Saturday night, underwent knee surgery a few weeks back to repair a torn ACL. That coupled with the hip surgery will sideline the former UFC and Pride champion for at least the remainder of 2010.

“I tore my ACL so I had the surgery and it’s going to take maybe five to six months to heal,” Nogueira said over the weekend.

His manager, Ed Soares, echoed similar comments about the timeline for his return, saying the Brazilian will likely undergo hip surgery in the next two weeks.

“He’s had surgery on his knee so far, and we’re waiting on when he’s going to do his hip surgery,” Soares told MMAWeekly.com in an interview. “Probably within the next couple weeks.”

Last fighting in February in a loss to Cain Velasquez, Nogueira was hopeful to avenge his 2008 loss to Mir over the weekend, but the injury forced him back to the sidelines for at least a few more months.

Nogueira was at UFC 119 supporting his brother Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, and did have a noticeable limp from the knee surgery.

Soares believes that once all the surgeries are behind him, Nogueira will return to the Octagon around mid-year in 2011.

“I think realistically from the time he has surgery, they’re saying until he puts his foot in the ring it will probably be six months. I’m assuming late spring, early summer,” Soares commented.

Nogueira still has his hands full as a coach preparing several champions in the gym including UFC middleweight king Anderson Silva, newly crowned Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante, and WEC featherweight titleholder Jose Aldo.